Erectile Dysfunction affects millions of men around the world, and for many suffers, the problem is physiological. This is usually the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, and from conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The good news is that through lifestyle changes, the causes of erectile function can be reversed. One of the principal ways of doing this is through diet. This article suggests 10 super foods that are essential for maintaining optimum sexual health.
1. Lean red meat
The protein in lean red meat naturally boosts levels of dopamine, the brain chemical primarily responsible for enhancing sex drive, mood, alertness, and movement. Meat is also high in zinc, which boosts libido by reducing production of the hormone prolactin. (Too much prolactin acts to suppress production of testosterone).
Liver is a good source of glutamine, which is essential for your immune system to function. Liver may also increase a slowed-down libido. Ounce for ounce, liver is among the best sources of fertility-boosting vitamin A. Men who get plenty of vitamin A each day have higher sperm counts and perform better sexually than men who don’t.
Egg yolks contain cholesterol, which are important building blocks for testosterone. Eating raw eggs is one of the most direct ways of increasing testosterone and ultimately enhancing the male libido. Eggs are also one of the most significant sources of vitamin A, which aids sperm count. Eggs are also high in vitamins B6 and B5. These vitamins help balance hormone levels and fight stress, two things that are crucial to a healthy libido.
4. Fish and Seafood
Raw oysters: Long regarded as an aphrodisiac, oysters are high in zinc, which raises sperm and testosterone production. Oysters also contain dopamine, which is known to increase libido.
Salmon, mackerel, trout and tuna: these oily fish are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for a health immune and circulatory system. The omega-3 fats found in salmon have a broad array of beneficial cardiovascular effects. Omega-3s assist against clotting of the arteries by improving the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. Oily fish are also a rich source of selenium and zinc which are needed for peak sexual health.
These nuts have an abundance of nutrients. They are a prime source of monounsaturated fats, which reduced the risk of heart disease, by acting to lower LDL (the bad cholesterol). They are also high in Vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant. Almonds are also a rich source of magnesium, which helps to improve the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
6. Peanuts (the best natural way to increase production of nitric oxide!)
Contrary to what their name implies, peanuts are not true nuts but a member of the legume family, and are related to peas, lentils, chickpeas and other beans. However regardless of whether they are a bean or a nut, peanuts have been described as “dietary Viagra“. Peanuts are rich in L-arginine, which causes vasodilatation in blood vessels. L-arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide, which is responsible for inducing smooth muscle relaxation. Research has shown that the levels of L-arginine are higher in peanuts, weight for weight, than in any other common nut or legume. Additionally, peanuts are a very good source of monounsaturated fats, and feature an array of other nutrients that have been shown to promote heart health. Peanuts are also excellent sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese.
7. Wheat Germ
Wheat germ is the vitamin and mineral rich embryo of the wheat kernel that is removed during the refining of whole wheat grains to white flour. It is packed with important B vitamins, such as folate, thiamin, and vitamin B6, and the minerals zinc, magnesium, and manganese. Zinc of course is essential to the healthy functioning of the reproductive system. Wheat germ also has a high amount of vitamin E, a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant in the human body which helps protect fat-containing substances in the body from damage by free radicals. Vitamin E is therefore an important element in a healthy cardiovascular system, which is essential for sexual potency.
Via their high fiber content, oats are one of the best cereals to reduce cholesterol levels, thereby helping to unclog the arteries and improve blood flow. Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan, which has been shown in numerous studies to significantly reduce cholesterol levels. Oats also contain a unique antioxidant compound, called avenanthramides, which helps prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, thus further reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
9. Pine Nuts
These nuts (actually seeds of the pine tree) are rich in zinc, and have been used as an aphrodisiac throughout the Mediterranean and the East. The Roman poet, Ovid, included pine nuts in his list of aphrodisiacs. The Perfumed Garden, (an ancient Arabic love manual), contains many references to pine nuts including this prescription to restore a man’s sexual vigor: “A glass of thick honey, plus 20 almonds and 100 pine nuts repeated for three nights.”